Boeing announced production stoppage of the 747 jumbo jet following news that numerous airlines would be retiring their 747 fleets due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, data and analytics firm GlobalData stated in a press release. British Airways, Qantas, KLM and Virgin Atlantic have either retired their fleets, or plan to do so ahead of pre-COVID-19 schedules.
GlobalData said that shedding Boeing’s ‘increasingly redundant’ wide-body product and focusing on narrow-body aircraft such as the 737, as well as wide-body offerings like the 777X, will allow the company to conform with the post-COVID-19 market.
“Demand for large, long haul aircraft will recover more slowly that short haul aircraft, following the trend observed following previous crises such as the 2008 recession. With the addition of rising climate consciousness and demand for efficiency, the 747 cannot compete with newer, more efficient designs and aircraft more suited to the post-COVID-19 market,” said Harry Boneham, aerospace and defense associate analyst at GlobalData.
Boeing shared that the 747 currently accounts for 0.26% of the manufacturing backlog, including 12 orders for UPS and three for Volga-Dnepr UK, which are expected by the end of 2022.
As of June, the 747 makes up 20.5% of cargo aircraft and 1.1% of commercial fixed wing aircraft contracted in 2020, GlobalData shared in the report.